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Full text of "NAEB Newsletter (January 15, 1939)"

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// £■ w S L FI TFV? 

Office of Executive Secretary 
Urhana, Illinois 
January 15, 1939 


3. Howard Evans, Secretary of t;he National Committee on Education by 
Radio, 1 Madison Avenue, New York City, is collecting dj ta on the 
standards whic control selection of proprams to be broadoast by 
member stations of NAEB. Will you please send direct to Mr. Evans 
any statement you mgty have on jour station policy In the selection 
of broaddast programs And also send a copy to your Executive 
Secretary. Pronto, PleaseS 


The Federal Communications Oomnisslon has made "substantial progress* 3 
in increasing its effectiveness as a regulatory agency through chargee 
in practices, procedure and organization, Chairman Frank R. MpNlnch 
has told the Congress In a letter of transmittal, accompanying the 
Commission 11 s annual report to the Congress, Mr. McNlnch said that 
reforms already effected 'promise decidedly improved administration 
of the Communications Aot;«" 

His letter added: "These reforms have two broad purposes: First, 
greater efficiency, and second, the utmost protection attainable 
again?* possible improper influence by those having business with 
the commission." 

*pe accumulation of broadcasting oases and other work "has been 
nandled and made practicably current" through a speeding up of 
activity and a great deal of overtime work, the Chairman said. 

He noted also the abandonment of the divisional method or organ¬ 
ization, the abolishment of the Examining Division and other steps 
to reorganize the Comnisnlon*s administrative set-up. 

Reorganization steps alone, however, "cannot be a complete cure" 
for the Commission*s overload of work, Chairman McNinch said, pointing 
out that the administrative tasc throughout the range of the Commis¬ 
sion 8 s functions is large, varied and difficult. He continued: 
'♦Experience has demonstrated that the Commission is gravely under¬ 
staffed for its task and that this condition is largely responsible 
for the accumulation of work and the Inability to keep a great part 
of this work current. Overtime work by the staff Is unavoidable, and 


Page 2 

Jnn useyy 15, 1939 

“It amounted In the fiscal year to 2,062 days, or the equivalent of about 
5 days for every person In the Commission’s headouarters organization 
of less than 400 peoole. Since the end of the fiscal year the over¬ 
time condition has grown sorewhat worse. 

“To remedy this situation oi understaffing, overloau, ana accumulation, 
as well as to provide more adequate anu effective f< cilities for regu¬ 
lation, the Commission has recordtenaea this yet r a ^uostantial increase in 
f its buuget.“ 

The Commission's report to Congress stated that the Com.ilssicn is inking 
a stuay of methods oi organizing al communications, facilities, includ¬ 
ing radio, telephone, ana telegraph seivice^, to provide for their 
prompt and efficient use upon the ari&in 0 of any sectional or national' 
emergency. The men sure s this etuoy contemplates would be auapteci not 
alone to nation**! defense in time of need but to disasters sucn as 
those caused by flood, fire, or hurricane. 

The report also h//tea that the Commission had studied certain situations 
which might result in recommendations for additional or amendatory 
legislation. f; ne of these is tne unlicensed operation of radio equip¬ 
ment by school children. Unaer present law such operation is a felony. 
Because of *de severe penalties the Commission, prosecutors and 0 rand 
Juries ap^oach indictments reluctantly in such cases. The report 
notes the offense might be made a misdemeanor, with lesser (penal¬ 
ties more effective enforcement. 

'Ainilarly, witlx regard to possible recommendations for legislation, the 
Commission noted the danger that the usefulness of a large ptrt of the 
radio spectrum for communication purposes may be destroyed by radio 
interference from diathermy or electro-medical apparatus. The report 
added: “This interference seriously impairs radio communication 
service at tne present time ana is rapidly O rowin^ in intensity. 1 * 

The last fiscal year and the months since were characterized as “a 
period of signifleant de\ r elopments nd noteworthy progress, both during 
American communications anu in the aainini strati on of this Commission 
to which Congress has entrusted the duty of regulating them.** 

Establishment of ^7 new broadcasting stations v/as authorized during the 
fiscal year. This represented little more than a third of the new 
stations for which applications were filed. 

Radio facilities for aviation were stated to have been advanced to the 
point that instrument landing systems are expected to be in actual 
service in the United States v/lthin a few months. 

The Commission’s investigation of chain and network broadcasting and 
of possible monopoly, supervised by a committee embracing, besides the 
Chairman, Commissioners Brown, dykes, ana Walker, “promises to produce 
much information of value,** the letter of transmittal ncted. This 
investigation is bein^ conducted in oraer to the necessary informa¬ 
tion upon which to base regulations ana possible recommendations for 


Page 3 

January 15, 1939 

Tiie Commission plane to submit a finf.l report on the telephone Investi¬ 
gation to the present Congress. This investigation was supervised by 
Commissioner Walker, anu a proposed report v;as submitted during the 
fiscal year 193*5» 

A committee composed of Commissioners Case, chairman. Craven, ana Payne, 
has obtained evidence to guide the Commission in determining whether the 
new technical rules concerning broadcasting, ana the Standards of Engin¬ 
eering Practice formulated by the Cojamission should be adopted. Upon its 
completion, this committee’s report will aia in formulating new policies 
with respect to the technical aspects of broadcasting, including a decision 
on the question of superpower. 


The Communications Commission’s newly established Motions Pocket procedure, 
set up under the New Rules of Practice and Procedure, which became effec¬ 
tive January 1, was inaugurated on Friday, January 6. On Com¬ 
missioner Paul A. Walker heard motions and petitions in nine pending cases. 

Hereafter a motions docket will be called at 10:00 A.M. on Friday of each 

Under the old rules most of the motions and petitions were handled by a 
Comiflissioner without hearing the parties and without specific and uniform 
provision for the filing of opposition, although opposition was considered 
when it was offered. 

Under the new plan the Commissioner designated to the Motions Dockets will 
study the motions and petitions and will also hear the parties at an open 
hearing. Full provision 1ms been made for notice and opposition both 
through the filing of counter-motions and counter-petitions and through 
argument. A member of the Law Department will be present at hearings. 

The Commissioner presiding will pass upon all (potions, petitions, or 
matters in cases designated for formal hearing, excepting motions and 
petitions.requesting final disposition of a case on its merits, those 
having the nature of an appeal to the Commission, and those recreating 
change or modification of a fine! order made by the Commission. 


The Federal Communications Commission has announced that hereafter it 
will insist upon strict adherence to its rule requiring broadcast 
stations to file application for renewal of license more than sixty 
days in advance or expiration of the license. 

No temporary broadcast licenses or extensions of licenser will be issued 
under any circumstances where the stations fall to file applications for 
renewal. When an application i£ received less than sixty days in advance 
of expiration of licence, a temporary extension of license only will be 

granted, and the reasons for so acting will be made public. 


page 4 

January 15, 1939 

Experience haa shown that sixty days is the minimum time required for the 
staff to check and study applications adequately and for the Commissioners 
to give them effective study and consideration. 

Under the Commission*s rules applications for renewal of station licenses 
must he filed more than sixty days prior to the expiration date of the 
licenses. In many instances stations have filed applications late and in 
a few the Commission has Jailed to receive any application. 

The Commission took the view that temporary extensions, even for thirty 
days, are unwarranted and may not he legally granted where no application 
has been filed* Licensees must accept full responsibility for filing 
their applications in good time and in proper form under the Commission*s 
rule s. 

The Commission noted that th© following stations are presently tardy with 
their applications for renewals. Stations KUSD, Vermilion, South Dakota; 
Station WCBS, Springfield* Illinois; Station WIRE, (Auxiliary Transmitter) 
Indianapolis, Indiana; Station WKAT, Miami Beach, Florida,; Station WC^BC, 
Vicksburg, Mississippi; Station KCDM, Stockton, California; Station KIEV, 
Glendale, C R lif vrnjla i fn<l Station WDZ, Tuscola, Illinois. 

Attention Ip* also invited to the fact that the applications for renewal 
of license-* should he completed to reflect actual conditions at the time 
of filin-> applications and ©are must he exercised in copying previous 
applications for renewal of license to determine that any changes in con- 
aii^onfj are properly disclosed. It has been the experience of^the Commis¬ 
sion that where certain errors appear in an application, the same errors 
appear time after time. This necessitates either returning the application 
or writing the applicant at each renewal period and often necessitates the 
granting of temporary extension6 while the repeated error is being corrected. 
When a licensee holds special authorization permitting operation different 
from that authorized by the license itself, (Use of additional time or 
power for temporary or experimental purposes) the application for renewal 
of the regular licehse should be mad© out as thought the station were 
operating under the regular license alone, without the special authoriza¬ 
tion. The. operation as it actually occurs under the special authorization 
should be set forth in an attached letter of transmittal, properly affirmed 
and in the event formal application is required for renewal of the special 
authorization such application should be filed simultaneously^* 


If the great state-owned radio service agency, KOAC, is lost now through 
encroachment of commercial interests from another state, it probably never 
will be regained in its present efficiency, Chancellor F. M» Hunter, head 
of the state system of higher education, warned in adding his support to 
the intensive drive to inform the Oregon congressional dedegatlon of the 
desires of Oregon people U'\ respect to KOAC. 

Senator Mc'ka.ry had informed Chancellor Hunter that he had been asked by 
the chairman of the Federal communications commission to prepare a rep 


Page 5 

Januaiy 15 , 1939 

bearing on the applioation of KOY to use the KOAC wavelength, and that he 
was using for this purpose the oommunications he was receiving from his own 
constituents. Hunger emphasized the fact that the state board has the 
interests of 65,000 Oregon farm families in mind primarily in maintaining 
the station, although it serves urban audiences as well. 

President G . W. Peavy added his endorsement to the campaign, saying 
KOAC is a vital faotor in keeping the people informed of the far-flung 
activities of the state oollege, particularly in the field of agricul¬ 
tural research and extension, "KOAC must be preserved to serve the 
people of Oregon, 11 he declared. 


The Federal Comraunications Commission has set for hearing a petition 
of Mayor Fiorello H. LaGu»rdia, of New York City, in the matter of 
Station WNYC, municipally owned broadcast station of that city. 

The Mayor petitioned the Commission to amend certain of its rules in 
order to permit the rebroadcasting of programs of high frequency and 
International broadcast stations, by regular broadcast stations whose 
licensees are universities, other eduoat ional institutions, munici¬ 
palities, other government agencies, or other non-commeroial non-profit- 
making organizations. 

As now written the rules of the Commission do not prohibit the rebroad- 
oasting of programs of high frequency broadcast stations but merely 
require the authority of the Commission for the rebroadcast. However, 
the rules do not permit regular broadcast stations to rebroadoast the 
programs of international broadcast stations located vdthin the United 
States except where wire lines are not available to transmit the 
programs to regular broadcast stations. 

The Mayor*s petition also asked that the Commission amend its rules 
which prohibit high frequency and international broadcast stations 
which are in an experimental status, from making any charge, directly 
or indireotly, for the transmission of programs. 

In setting the matter for hearing the Commission opened the way for 
a complete discussion of the subject. 

Scanned from the National Association of Educational Broadcasters Records 
at the Wisconsin Historical Society as part of 
"Unlocking the Airwaves: Revitalizing an Early Public and Educational Radio Collection." 

'oiTu> c KTwe 

A collaboration among the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities, 
University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Communication Arts, 
and Wisconsin Historical Society. 

Supported by a Humanities Collections and Reference Resources grant from 
the National Endowment for the Humanities 











views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication/collection do not necessarily reflect those of the 

National Endowment for the Humanities.